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KARACHI: The provincial cabinet in continuation of the last cabinet meeting discussed and decided on 40 more agenda items on Saturday and took important decisions including approval of the Medico-legal Act, Immunization Act in which denial has been made an offence also approved water policy and upgraded hospitals.

The meeting was chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House and was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Advocate General Hassan Akbar, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and other concerned officers. Health Dept: The cabinet discussed and decided on nine agenda items for the health department under which important bills were approved and referred to the assembly. They are as follows: Medico-legal Act: The health department told the cabinet that presently the Medico-legal Services in Sindh were unorganized with no service structure, job descriptions, SOPs/Guide-lines, Performance Manage-ment Framework, and Key Performance Indicators. Consequently the actors of the Criminal Justice System, namely the Police and Judiciary face problems in prosecution and conviction. This has created an urgent demand for substantial changes in the legal framework of Medico-legal Services, for which different forums such as UN Women, Legal Aid Society, and the Gender Crime and Human Rights Department have raised concerns. Therefore, the health dept has decided to strengthen the Medico-legal system on modern scientific grounds.

The objectives of the proposed bill are to regulate the Medico-legal System, including its administration, examinations, and post-mortems conducted in the different health facilities of the province through the establishment of the Sindh Medicolegal Directorate. The cabinet approved the act and referred to the assembly.

Up-gradation of three hospitals: The cabinet was told that Children of Adam, Karachi and the health dept have requested that cabinet may allocate Rs1.967 billion as Grant-in-Aid for five years to establish psychiatric facilities at three government Hospitals - Basic Health Unit Dumba Goth, New Urban Health Center Gadap and New Karachi Urban Health Center Goharabad.

The cabinet was told that a large segment of the population in the country has suffered from some mental illness. Unfortunately, there was a dearth of psychiatrists and psychiatric hospitals.

There are only five major Psychiatric hospitals to cope with major mental health disorders, depression, autism, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder in Pakistan. Hence, considering the issue, Children of Adam signed a MoU with the Sindh Health Department for creating psychiatric facilities at BHU Dumba Goth, New Urban Health Center Gadap, and New Karachi Urban Health Center Goharabad. The cabinet approved the proposal.

Mehar Hospital handed over to GIMS: The provincial cabinet decided to hand over Mehar taluka Hospital to Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences for five years to upgrade the facility and improve its services.

Minister Zakat and Ushr Fayaz Butt told the cabinet that he had visited taluka hospital Mehar, District Dadu, and found that it required major renovation and necessary medical equipment for its smooth functioning.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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